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High School Percussion Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Jim Gist

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

North Forney High School is a 5A high school located in Forney, Texas, approximately 25 miles east of Dallas. The school opened in 2009 with only freshmen and sophomores. Mr. Jim Gist, NFHS Percussion Director, had the opportunity to begin the program and currently remains in this role. The mission of the North Forney Percussion Ensemble is “a relentless pursuit of excellence.” The program has experienced much growth over its eleven years, earning its reputation as a premier percussion program in the North Texas area. The North Forney High School percussion cluster is unique in that Mr. Gist is fortunate to be able to teach every student, beginning percussionists through high school seniors, every day in dedicated percussion classes across three campuses. The students are able to progress very quickly as individual players as well as a group with this structure. While creating well-rounded percussionists who have opportunities to participate and interact with a variety of percussion experiences has been a goal of the program since its inception, in 2017 the NFHS percussion program expanded their scope, forming the North Forney Indoor Percussion Ensemble. The group competes in the North Texas Colorguard Association and the Winter Guard International circuits. In 2019 the North Forney Indoor Percussion Ensemble earned the silver medal in the WGI World Championships in the Percussion Scholastic Concert World class. The North Forney percussion ensemble has also placed first for the last two years (2018, 2019) at the Eaton Percussion Festival.

North Forney High School Percussion Ensemble

Conductor's Bio

Mr. Gist is a graduate of Northwestern State University, where he earned a bachelor of music education degree. He went on to earn a master of percussion performance degree at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He currently serves as Assistant Band Director and Percussion Instructor at North Forney High School in Forney, Texas, a position he has held since the school opened in 2009. Mr. Gist has previously served as the Drumline Instructor at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Adjunct Professor of Percussion at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas, and Percussion Coordinator/Assistant Band Director at both Rockwall-Heath High School in Rockwall, Texas as well as North Lamar High School in Paris, Texas. Mr. Gist has performed with multiple groups including the Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra and Lake Pointe Church. He enjoys arranging percussion music, writing marching band drill and teaching percussion camps throughout Louisiana and Texas. Mr. Gist is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and Texas Music Educators Association. Jim has been married to his wife, Megan, for 21 years, and they have one son, Jake, who is thirteen years old and a beginning percussionist.